tv [untitled] October 1, 2010 2:00pm-2:30pm PST
time and consideration that you're going to give to my nomination. i'd like to spend a few minutes telling you today just a little bit about myself personally, professionally, as well as why i'd like to serve on the commission. and, of course, i welcome any comments or questions you have. i moved to san francisco about 20 years ago, coming up on the anniversary. as many transplants do, i fell quickly in love with the city. more importantly, i also fell in love with stacey who became my wife. in fact, we met here in city hall in 1992, i think. we have been married 12 years. our children were born here in san francisco. we're not going anywhere. this is our home. and we are happy and proud to be san franciscans. i don't know if i'm allowed to call myself that with only 120 years in. chairman campos: yes. >> i've lived on sunset,
richmond, the marina area. my children go to school in mission. i think when we had kids, stacey and i had the explicit conversation that we wanted our children to grow up in the city and not only any city but the city that provides the rich diversity, view points, people, and culture that san francisco provides. so we feel very committed and strongly that we need to be here and we need to make san francisco as best it can be. as i think you know, i'm an attorney. i've been with the firm nearly 10 years. prior to this firm, i was with another firm which has now been swallowed up by a boston firm. and prior to my time at mccutcheon, i clerked for two federal judges, judge -- judges.
my practice focuses mostly on civil and white collar criminal cases. i've tried cases, arbitrated them, mediated them, sort of up and down california as well as new york, delaware, tennessee. all over the country. our firm and me personally have a very strong commitment to doing pro bono work. i'm currently representing a man who, unfortunately, was convicted of murder which i don't think he committed. we're working to secure his release. a few years ago i tried a case on behalf of the parents of a young boy who was accidentally shot and killed. we tried a case, another uphill battle, a products liability case against a gun manufacturer. unfortunately we didn't win, but i have to say it was one of the most rewarding work in my career. i have also tried to serve the community outside of my pro bono work in my law firm,
outside of my law practice. i currently serve on the board of directors of legal services for children. you may be familiar with it. it's a really remarkable organization that's devoted to representing kids in all manner of proceedings whether they be immigration, custody, school, -- school scompullion. it's really the only organization in san francisco representing kids and their interests solely. it's remarkable work. i'm honored to be a part of it. i also serve on the tax commission. and until recently i served on the san francisco railway improvement corporation. i raised this service just to let you know that i have some understanding of the commission process and commitment required and realize, of course, that the police commission is a significantly larger commitment of time and energy and importance. but i think that my prior commission service will give me some ability to hit the ground
running in that respect. and i guess that really brings me to the reason we're here today. the police commission, why i'm here and why i'd like to serve. and i think it's -- you know, sometimes it sounds a little hokey, but it's because of my love of the city, because of my strong belief that we each need to find ways to give back at the appropriate time and appropriate place. and serve where and when we can. and i think in a personal way, i want to be a good example to my boys to sort of say, ok, it's wednesday night and i'd like to be watching the giants game, but i'm going to have another commitment here. it's almost as important as the giants. important as the giants. [laughter] supervisor alioto-pier: at least you have your priorities straight. >> we do. i just said maybe i better figure out the playoff schedule but maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves. the department exists to protect and serve the people,
the community. the police commission in turn must serve the community by providing effective oversight of the department, being an open and receptive vehicle for the community to give input. and supporting the officers and the command staff in the hard work that they do every day. i think most importantly, the commission, the department should reflect the values that san franciscans really hold closest to themselves -- closest to their heart. the commission and the department really have to do this not just in the members but in all the actions it takes. it has to reflect the passion, fairness, diversity, justice, human rights. that is what drays people to san francisco and what we want san francisco to be. i'll come to every issue with an open mind and will make decisions based on the recent judgment of the facts a1 decisions based on the recent judgment of the facts as i see them.
the input from the community, the mayor, the board and from others. and i'll have no agenda other than to make sure i can sleep soundly at night knowing i did my best to call them as i saw them. so with that i'd be happy to take any questions you might have. chairman campos: colleagues, any question? i do have a couple of questions. and i want to thank you mr. ug slaughter for not only agreeing to come forward and being considered for this appointment but also for reaching out to a nuck of us to make sure that we ask any questions that we had. clearly you have accomplished a lot. you don't get to be an attorney without that. but i do want to ask you a couple of general questions about the police commission and some of the issues that are likely to come before it.
i guess the one question that i'd like to see what you have to say about is something -- it's an article that appeared in the "examiner" not too long ago. i think it was actually on tuesday. it's an article about this appointment, actually. it's an interesting piece. the headline, actually, the front cover of the "examiner," and i'm quoting it here, "taser talk revival sought by mayor to re-open debate about less lethal weapons after weekend police shooting." i think the main gist of the article is that mayor newsom is hoping that this nomination to the police commission will shift the balance according to "the examiner" of power and put
the issue back on the agenda. clearly we all have specific views about something as complicated as the issue of tasers. and i think that on something like that -- reasonable minds can disagree on something like that. but one question that i have and something that jumped out at me in reading that article was, you know, is this situation where we have an appointment, where you have an individual coming in to push a specific agenda, who is going to come in to make sure that there is a shift in the balance of power, if you will, having served on the police commission , my own experience is that you have commissioners who while they may disagree on specific things that they take each issue as it comes. so i'm wondering if you could
comment on this article and if you have any thoughts about whether or not it is the case as suggested. that the point of this nomination is to shift the balance of power. >> i thank you, supervisor campos. i don't come to the commission with an agenda. as i mentioned in my remarks, i can only take each issue as it comes with an open mind, consider what the community says, consider what my colleagues say, consider what the mayor of the board, the members of the community say. that's the only way that i'd be able to, as i said, sleep at night. but more specifically with respect to the article and with respect to the implication that one might have, that there was some conversation that says when you're appointed that you will take up this issue, i can assure you that isn't the case. i haven't spoken with the mayor
since the time he called me and asked me -- in august, and asked me if i would accept his nomination. my conversations with the mayor's office and the mayor himself about the potential appointment, at no time did i offer or was i asked to offer an agreement to vote on any particular issue in any particular way. faze just not something that's going to be how i would approach an issue. i think the only way to dot job is to take them one at a time, listen to your colleagues, to the community, and make a judgment based on the facts as they're presented. chairman campos: i appreciate that mr. slauthser. i'm pretty confident that that's the case. i appreciate your thoughts on that with respect to the issue of tasers, i'm wondering if you have any thoughts in terms of how you would approach the issue, whether or not you really feel that that's
something that the commission should revisit. and if so, you know, the process that you envisioned the commission would follow or should follow when looking at something as complicated, controversial as that issue. >> thank you. and thank you for that question. perhaps can i answer it this way. i don't know if tasers are a good idea to immeant as an alternate method, means for officers to use. but i do think that it's something that worthy for discussion and worthy to be looked at that discussion needs to be a discussion that includes all view points and accepts and encourages input from all the stakeholders from the community to the officers, department, command staff, yourself, supervisors and the mayor. i do think that it's not something that should ever be
flatley on or flatley off the table. i think when you have an opportunity to introduce a potentially non-lethal option, it's certainly deserving of study. look at how what other cities, forces, departments have deployed them what the evidence is, and make sure in any decision that you make, that you
killed or beaten very brutally in those areas. and many immigrant communities feeling that there needs to be a lot of changes within law enforcement to allow immigrant communities to feel more safe about reporting crime but also working with law enforcement to ensure that all communities are safe. the police commission is a very diverse commission. you're replacinging david hoenig who comes with a very strong background. or other commissioners with a strong background in criminal justice. i'm just wondering, how would you engage communities more? i would think that that would be a key role for a police commissioner like yourself. >> supervisor mar, thank you
for the question. as i said, engage willing the community has -- engaging the community has to be in the forefront. otherwise the commission could meet with the chief and thumbs up or thumbs down what being recommended. but civilian oversight is critical and only works when the community is engaged and when the commissioners are able to hear and give voice to community concerns and consider them in making the decisions. how do you engage the community? there's many different ways to do it. obviously the community meets regularly every week. we need to encourage the community to voice their concerns. 7 i think having meetings throughout the city, which i know the commission does occasionally, fosters that idea. i think as an individual commissioner, you need to do what you can to ensure that you're getting out and seeing
the community whether it be on the weekends, whatever you're doing. sort of say i realize i live here. my kids go to school in mission. work downtown. but perhaps when we go out, we'll go out in this direction. or do ride alongs, maybe not just in one area but occasionally get your breath of the city. if you don't have that experience, it diminishes your ability to understand and make judgments on the yishes -- issues that come before you. chairman campos: thank you. colleagues, any other comments or questions? great. thank you very much. why don't we now open it up to public comment? if there's any member of the public who would like to speak on this item, please come forward. you each have up to three minutes. >> good morning. chairman campos: good morning. >> supervisors, my name is shannon wilbur, executive director of legal services for children. i'm very happy to be here
speaking on behalf of jamie slaughter's nomination of the police commission. we are very fortunate, as jamie mentioned that he serves on our board of directors. i know it's one of the -- just one of the many thifpks -- things does he here on the behalf of san francisco. basically, my comment is that i think jamie slaughter is exactly the kind of person that the people in san francisco want to be serving on the police commission. for several reasons. my experience of him working as a colleague is that he is extremely reliable and trustworthy. he's the kind of person who does exactly what he says he's going to do. and i count on him for that he is very hard-working. and there's a way in which he inspires his colleagues by his example. which is always the best way to do it. very collaborative. know he's highly respected by
the other members of our board. he acts win tegrit. he is honest. he's fair. and he's very capable. of analyzing complex issues. and objectively assessing them. which i think will be a very important quality as a commissioner. i did not see the article. i was not aware of any of this. but i have to say that i have absolutely full confidence in jamie slaughter that when something is presenteded for his consideration that he will be interested in getting all of the information, hearing from everybody who has something to say on the issue and absolutely capable of making an objective and fair call on the issue. chairman campos: you're not the only one who doesn't read "the examiner." >> i'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but i'm admitting it right here.
and the last thing i just want to say is that i know jamie cares very deeply for this city, which also is an important quality for any of the commissions. and very close to my heart, he not only cares about the community as a whole, but i know that he cares very deeply about the members of our community who are less likely to have i avoice in -- a voice in public entities. for that reason, i think he would be an excellent member of the commission. thank you sox for the opportunity. chairman campos: thank you very much. next speaker, please. ms. albright? >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here with you this morning. i am honored to speak on behalf of mr. slaughter. i am katie albright, the executive director of the san francisco child abuse prevention center. and i also serve on the juvenile probation commission.
jamie is, by far, one of the most outstanding people that i know and will well serve the city and county. i know jamie as a colleague and friend for about 15 years. and our families are very close. he has both a devoted father and husband and has two incredible children that my children know very very well. he will proudly serve the city and will not just be a role model for his own children, but i believe will be a role model for my children as well as many, other children in the city. he is also extremely devoted and has shown his devotion to our city for many years. he gives back to organizations like the san francisco child abuse prevention center. as well as jamestown community. he's been working deeply with our community and our libraries as well as keeping our parks accessible to many and keeping our neighborhood movie theaters open. i believe that these die verse experiences will well serve him on the police commission in
understanding the issues that face our families and our community throughout san francisco. he exemplifies, and i'll echo ms. wilbur's response and comments here, he em my fies the issues that the police commission need. fairness, impartiality and integrity. he's incredibly smart. he's thoughtful, practical. and i will say personally he pushes people to think. i think you can believe him and take his word for it when he says he doesn't have an agenda on the matters that will come before the police commission. he has shown this to be true on matters that he and i have discuss thed. and i think he will approach his job on the police commission wan incredible amount of dedication and hard work. $